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The continuous advancement in dental technology has made dental practice easier and better. With the latest innovations, dental procedures have become less painful, more reliable, easier, and quicker to perform, which benefit both the dental professionals and the patients.
Decades ago, dental procedures require more time to complete. Because even the simplest dental procedure would require patients to sit under bright light with their mouth widely open and invaded with a variety of dental tools for a long period of time, many people choose to forgo dental visits even if they are well aware of the importance of oral health.
With the continuous advancement in dental technology, however, dental procedures that typically require more time to complete now become less painful, more reliable, easier, and quicker to perform. This does not only allow dental professionals to improve productivity and oral care quality, but it also encourages more people to visit their dentist more often.
Let us take a look at some of the amazing innovations in modern dentistry.
#1 Dental Hygiene Loupes
Dental loupes have been around for a couple of years already. However, only a few dental hygienists use them. Dental hygiene loupes are typically used by surgeons and dentists for clinical practice. But this does not mean that these magnification optical aids can only be used by these professionals. Nowadays, more and more dental hygienists are embracing the idea of wearing hygienist loupes when performing clinical routine tasks.
Just like dental loupes, hygienist loupes are dental magnification equipment worn by dental professionals to enlarge their field of view. It provides a magnified, bigger, and clearer image of everything you see inside the mouth. These magnifying glasses are either attached to wrap-around head support or to a frame that is worn the same way as you wear a pair of sunglasses or prescription glasses.
The best dental loupes for hygienists offer dental hygienists with more physiologic posture while working. Loupes allow them to work in an upright, more comfortable posture. Thus, helping hygienists minimize or avoid eye strain and slouching which is one of the primary reasons why many dental professionals develop musculoskeletal pain and injury. Not only that, being able to see the oral cavity more clearly allows better hand and eye coordination, better productivity, more accurate diagnosis, and higher quality work.
#2 Digital Dental Dentures
Not long ago, creating a typical dental denture the traditional way would take a few weeks to complete. For patients to have their dentures, they need to pay a visit to the dental clinic multiple times- for tooth extraction, for measurement taking and model denture creation, for denture fitting, and finally for picking up the denture or making the final adjustments.
With a digital dental denture, however, patients no longer have to wait for weeks and to go through all these steps to have their dentures. With the help of advanced devices, materials, and software, precision-fitted dentures can now be fabricated in a relatively shorter period of time and in just a few steps. This new innovative system involves the use of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM).
Velscope is a convenient, easy-to-use, wireless handheld device that is used to inspect the mouth and tongue to detect abnormalities that are often invisible to the naked eye. It helps dental professionals detect dysplastic cells even before they transform into pre-cancerous cells, thus allowing early detection of oral cancer.
This innovative dental device uses natural tissue fluorescence and emits harmless, bright blue light. As it hits the oral cavity, the superior blue light excites the oral tissues and even the molecules deep within the layer of the oral mucosal tissues like the mucous membrane lining in the mouth. When excited, these molecules and tissues fluoresce and emit their own light in shades of red, green, or yellow. Abnormal fluorescence patterns help dental professionals to see unhealthy mucosal tissue.
#4 Dental Headlights
Though overhead dental lamps and operating lights provide illumination to the oral cavity, most of the time, the lights are not enough to provide a better view of the work area especially if you are performing dental procedures that involve more secluded regions of the mouth. Not only that, you need to manually adjust the lamp and to reposition your head, hands, and instruments from time to time so the light won’t cast a shadow on your work area. This can be quite disturbing. With dental headlights, however, you no longer have to worry about all these things.
Dental headlights are a portable source of light that can be attached to a wrap around the head support, typical eyeglasses, or the frame of the loupes. This small yet powerful illumination tool provides a light color and intensity similar to that of natural sunlight, allowing you to see the exact color of the teeth and the oral cavity without any distortion.
Dental headlights can also deliver ultra-bright light at a focused area. Since dental headlight is worn on the head, it does not cast a shadow on you or your instrument, and it does not need to be manually adjusted every now and then as well. Thus giving you more freedom of movement, allowing you better focus, and help you minimize eye strain due to poor illumination.
#5 Intraoral Camera
The intraoral camera is a state of the art dental camera that is often attached to a dental mirror. This dental tool helps dental clinical professionals gain a well-defined and precise image of the oral cavity.
An intraoral camera is often used for accessing secluded areas of the patient’s mouth that are hard to see. It enables dentists to conduct a thorough check-up of the patients’ oral cavity and to accurately assess their oral health condition and oral care needs.
Since the intraoral camera allows dentists to see the oral cavity by simply using a dental mirror with a camera on it, the patients no longer have to uncomfortably open their mouths wide. Instead of looking directly at the oral cavity, the dental professional can use the images taken by the camera and displayed on the screen to conduct oral checkups and assessment.